Join us to discuss developing students professional competencies in software engineering on Monday 8th April at 2pm BST (UTC +1)

Some competencies in software engineering are either difficult to teach and/or hard to measure, especially in a purely academic environment. Professional competencies in software engineering are often easier to learn in the workplace, rather than taught in a University lab, workshop or lecture theatre. What evidence can students provide of the professional competencies they develop while employed in a, workplace? Join us on Monday 8th April at 2pm BST (UTC+1) to discuss a paper on this published in this years SIGCSE technical symposium ( by Matthew Barr, Oana Andrei, Alistair Morrison and Syed Waqar Nabi at the University of Glasgow [1]. From the abstract:

Competencies may be defined as the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions that an individual is required to demonstrate in order to be considered professionally competent. Competency-based education has long been a feature of professional degree programs, but the discipline of Computing Science has only recently begun to embrace competencies as a means of structuring or evaluating students’ learning. Meanwhile, the practice of work-based learning – also well-established in other professional disciplines– has become more prevalent in Computing Science education, with increasing emphasis placed on work-based modes of learning, such as internships and apprenticeships. In this paper, we examine how students enrolled on a degree-level apprenticeship in Software Engineering have developed their professional competencies in the workplace. The paper is based on an analysis of 38 student assignments, wherein apprentices were asked to identify the competencies they have demonstrated, with reference to a portfolio of work. The UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence and Commitment, which outlines the competencies required for certification as an Incorporated Engineer, provided the necessary framework. Competencies relating to communication and inter-personal skills were among those most often cited by apprentices, with competencies relating to knowledge and understanding and design and development systems also featuring prominently. Competencies relating to responsibility, management, or leadership were less prevalent, with professional commitment proving to be the least commonly cited category of competencies. We provide examples of how apprentices claim to have demonstrated each competency, and discuss the implications of these findings for competency-based learning in Computing Science education

We’ll be joined by the co-authors who will give us a five-minute lightning talk summary of their paper to kick-off our discussion. All welcome, joining details at


  1. Matthew Barr, Oana Andrei, Alistair Morrison, Syed Waqar Nabi (2024) The Development of Students’ Professional Competencies on a Work-Based Software Engineering Program, SIGCSE 2024: Proceedings of the 55th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, Pages 81–87, DOI:10.1145/3626252.3630944

CC licensed image from